Saturday 28 April 2018

Countdown to Tuktoyaktuk - 4 months

    My new self-published book LABRADOR – A Great Canadian Road Trip will be in print next month. That has me thinking about this year’s upcoming summer/fall adventure. The Dempster Highway wilderness route through Yukon and Northwest Territories is 742 kilometres of gravel and crushed stone. That gets you to Inuvik. From there the 138 kilometre road to Tuktoyaktuk is more of the same but maybe not quite as scenic. That’s a total of 880 kilometres of gravel road – one way! We’ll have to return via the same roads, there are no others. Makes Labrador sound like a thoroughfare. At least this time it will be in a rental.

    Services are limited to non-existent, approximately 400 to 600 kilometres apart. As we learned in Labrador, road conditions can also vary dramatically from day to day. Rain, wind, vehicle travel, grading work, all can affect how passable the road may be. The journey promises remote regions cutting through two rugged mountain ranges, miles of stunted spruce and alder forests, elevated reaches of tundra and the flat aspen covered Mackenzie River delta. There should also be ample wildlife; bear, wolves, caribou. If our track record remains intact I expect to see none of those.
    I won’t comment on it here – I’ll just wait to see how many people ask me “Why the hell do you want to go there?!”

Tombstone Mountains, Dempster Highway – from our 2003 trip
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